Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving thanks for so many things

Dear Blog, friends, family, anyone who chances upon this entry:

It’s that time of year to give thanks, and I’ve got plenty of gratitude to share. What follows is just a very short list, and not at all complete.

Family – It constantly amazes me how rich my life is thanks to family members who are there for me in all the ways they can. There’s my cousin in Orange who is my hero in so many ways, teaching me lessons whether she knows it or now. There’s our cousin and my aunt who live in Glendora with their family and I am privileged to have them consider me family. And to see her children, my niece and nephew, growing up these past four years has provided treasured memories!

Friends – There’s an ever-enlarging circle of friends, thanks to all the folks I’ve met through activities at the downtown bookstore and the guitar store where I enjoy free concerts each Saturday morning. There’s an angel, and she knows who she is, who always brings a sense of calm to me, no matter how harried I am. Another friend encourages me to be creative when so many others have not, really believing in my talents and not afraid to say so. Another one really makes me think deeply, is a wonderful editor when I need one, and mothers us all.

Of course, these new friends enhance the already rich group of close friends who have seen me through life’s joy and sadness, triumphs and defeats, laughter and tears…you all know who you are and I love you as deeply as I do my family.

One pleasure I’ve thoroughly enjoy is finding friends on Facebook. Say what you will about technology being impersonal and all, but it has been exciting to see how high school classmates are doing, to reconnect with college newspaper staffers, and to check in on dear friends with whom I’ve lost touch because busy lives get in the way. One in particular is pursuing her dream and reports from the classroom…counting down the days when she picks up her degree…and it’s only a few now. She’s one of my inspirations!

Art – music, writing, poetry, visual, performance, I am blessed by them all thanks to the many creative folks who share their gifts with me and inspire me to tap my arts, too.

Creativity – As I mentioned in last week’s entry, I’m experiencing a creative rebirth that has shook me to my soul emotionally while freeing me to explore so many paths I thought I would never take. Again, it is family and friends who encourage me, push me, and make me believe that I should at least make the effort to express myself.

Home – I’m slowly shaping up this place so I may share it with folks again. This home was the scene of many gatherings and I’d like to get it back to that point. A major victory was reclaiming and redoing my former bedroom into a guestroom, which I invite you all to use. There’s much to be done – cleaning out my office/studio/craftroom/workshop so I may set up an easel to paint again, reclaiming garage room turned storeroom so it may become what my dad built it to be – a living room in every sense of that word.

Four-Footed "Family" and Jazz: Can't forget my pets – Dickens, Cali, Georgia and Jazz the parrot – who all make my house a home in their gentle way.

Options – I have so many from which to choose. And I’m blessed with a simple life that allows me to consider options that others may not be able to assess.

Health – I’m experiencing some improvement in my sore knees thanks to weight loss, exercise and better food choices. Beside those sore knees and my weight, I’m fairly healthy, not plagued by so many maladies others face.

A Simpler Life – I’ve learned in the past few months, it doesn’t take much to get rid of the crud that distracts. What remains is a vacuum you can fill with what you want. It’s that simple. Getting there takes a lot of attention and it’s tough to stay on the path you choose. But once simplicity has entered your life, you want to pare down the excess just a bit more. Once you start, the rest is just gravy.

So start ladling some into your life! It’s a rich, deeply satisfying choice.

Thanks for checking in on me – Cathie Lou

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